This just in from the Detroit Free Press:
Sports and pizza boss Michael Ilitch said today he wants to buy the Detroit Pistons basketball team and move them to a new arena in downtown Detroit.
From Ilitch himself (via MLIVE):
"Marian and I grew up here, we raised our family here and we built our businesses here. Detroit is our home. When I read in the paper there was the chance that this great sports town could lose one of its professional sports franchises, I just didn't see how we could let that happen. The Pistons, just like the Red Wings, Tigers and the Lions, have a rich and storied tradition in this community and they've brought pride to fans and our community. You all know I love sports – all sports, from amateur sports to the various pro sports we've had the privilege to be involved with, and like a lot of others I'm sure, I really want to see the Pistons remain the Detroit Pistons." "We talked about it internally and when you take our 33 years of experience in professional sports, our commitment to this community, our passion for winning and pursuing championships, and you couple that with the opportunity to have a local, engaged owner for the Pistons, we decided to take a run at it. We believe we could bring a lot to the table that could be tremendously positive for the Pistons franchise, the NBA, and the fans of this community. So, today, we formally notified the Detroit Pistons that we have interest in purchasing the team. This is a required first-step and we look forward to the opportunity to move forward in the process."
UPDATE (via Detroit Free Press):
"No one should get too excited just yet, because this is the first step in what could be a long process," the Ilitch statement read. "There is a lot of due diligence to take place, and who even knows if the Pistons would accept any potential future offer. But I can tell you that we are serious about this, we’ll be aggressive in the process, and we’re going to take a real hard run at it because it makes sense for our organization." The statement added, "Whether or not we end up buying this Piston team, we remain focused on a new arena in the city of Detroit, and that will serve as a great catalyst for future economic development in the city."